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National Safety Stand Down on Backing Kicks Off Monday

It is a weeklong training and awareness initiative focused around reducing accidents, fatalities and injuries related to truck backing incidents.

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) announced the participation of several leading companies and independent waste and recycling organizations nationwide in the fourth in a series of national collaborations on improving safety in the waste and recycling industry. 

The 2017 NWRA Safety Stand Down on Vehicle Backing launches on January 23 with a weeklong training and awareness initiative focused around reducing accidents, fatalities and injuries related to truck backing incidents that represent a common challenge for the industry. The stand down will include a daily focus on safety issues related to backing and will conclude on January 27, 2017. (NWRA also hosted a stand down on backing early last year.)

The stand down will provide participating companies with the tools, guidance and support necessary to move the needle on backing incidents.

Participation in the stand down involves waste and recycling companies’ commitment to focusing employees safety sessions during the week on safe backing; conducting a risk assessment and review of backing policies and procedures; and posting stand down information at facilities and on social media sites to make employees aware of this effort.

More than 100 companies and municipalities have already joined the stand down with additional participants still registering as the kickoff to the stand down nears. Further, NWRA is being joined by several regional waste and recycling associations and the municipal waste community who have encouraged their members to participate in the stand down. These include the California Refuse and Recycling Council, the Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association, the Washington Refuse and Recycling Association, the International Scrap Recycling Institute and the Solid Waste Association of North America.

“We are proud of the commitment of our members, sponsor and partners to work together to raise the bar for safety in our industry,” Kevin Kraushaar, NWRA interim-president and chief legal counsel, said in a statement. “We are working to raise awareness and elevate our performance as we focus on the importance of a safe environment for our workers and the communities they serve nationwide.” “Through training, effective communications and heightened awareness we are committed to helping improve safety across our industry,” Kraushaar said.

Additional details about the Stand Down can be found here. The Safety Stand Down effort is using the social media hashtag #StandForSafety.

In December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed the final 2015 figures for industry and occupational fatalities. Total fatalities for refuse and recyclable material collectors rose from 27 to 33—matching 2013 for the greater number of fatalities since 2006. The fatal injury rate hit 38.8 per 100,000 workers—the highest level since 2006.

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